Decision On Day-To-Day Basis
HARRISONBURG — Cooling stations that were set up in Harrisonburg and around Rockingham County on Saturday remained open through today at Broadway and Harrisonburg high schools. Due to low attendance, the Spotswood High School station was shut down and one opened at Grottoes Volunteer Fire Department on Va. 256. All three locations were open from noon until 6 p.m. today.
According to Stephen King, deputy county administrator, the decision to open the cooling stations will be made on a day-by-day basis. King said a determination will be made Tuesday morning about whether to open the stations for the whole day.
For more information about the stations, call the Rockingham County Administration Center at 564-3000.
In Stanley, a cooling shelter will operate at the elementary school until early this evening, about 6 or 7 p.m., according to officials.
Harrisonburgand Rockingham County officials issued an emergency declaration Saturday, which came on the heels of a statewide emergency declaration from Gov. Bob McDonnell.
With temperatures forecast to remain in the 90s for the next several days and the heat index — the combination of heat and humidity — reaching or exceeding triple digits, medical officials urge anyone experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or other health concerns to call 911.
Symptoms of heat-related illness include weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, disorientation and fainting.
Residents with health concerns should find a cool place to stay for their safety; anyone going outside should wear light-colored, loose clothing and apply sunscreen.
In the Harrisonburg area, Rockingham Memorial Hospital’s emergency department treated 247 patients between Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m., just less than the department’s record of seeing 250 patients in one 24-hour period.
Staff helped patients with injuries related to car and motorcycle crashes, falling off roofs while trying to clear debris or fix the building, cutting themselves with chain saws and a variety of other incidents.
Many patients were experiencing heat-related concerns, including several cases of people with respiratory issues who had lost power to operate their medical equipment.
More health information can be found at the hospital's website at www.rmhonline.com